Fathom Takes Local Whirlyball Title in American Advertising Federation Event

At Fathom, we pride ourselves on being a competent Internet marketing company in a competitive industry. But what most people don’t know is that we’re also ultra-competitive in sports. We’ve taken our talents to the soccer pitch and flag football gridiron, but never before had we taken on other agencies in the whirlyball arena. Thanks to the intra-agency challenge hosted by the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation on April 27, that all changed.

The evening started at the Bedford Heights WhirlyBall/Laser-Sport with socializing over pizza and beer. Pitchers (not the baseball variety) were plentiful and helped take the collective edge off the prospect of double elimination.

As for the tournament itself, it all starts with an 80″‘ x 50″ court that reeks of motor oil and auto exhaust. Insert bumper cars, lacrosse sticks, and a whiffle ball. 12-minute games and one ref at center court, seated up high over the action in a tennis-like perch.

Having consumed the pre-game pizza, the agencies were ready for their chance at immortality. Teams with first-round byes scouted the speed of the cars and prepared to square off against each other. Fathom’s all-male team came with one goal: win it all.

The Fathom Five consisted of Gary, Wes, Keith, Paul, and Michael (pictured in order, left to right).  A quick breakdown of what each guy brought to the arena:


  • Gary: guile, a hockey player’s toughness
  • Wes: swagger, trash talk, head-bobbing
  • Keith: Sandusky grit, complete all-around game
  • Me: passion, smothering defense
  • Michael: breakaway speed, a knack for finding holes in the defense

After winning the first 2 games fairly easily, the title match with Doner was back-and-forth down to the wire. The easy points we racked up in the early contests weren’t coming. Thankfully, Keith’s lock-down defense, Gary’s rough stick play, Michael’s offensive boards/2nd-chance points, and Wes’s clutch, long-range 4-pt. shot at the 2-min. warning were all keys to the ultimate victory.

After the fumes settled, a 14-12 margin was enough to bring home the “Thinker” trophy. It will proudly sit atop each of our desks in rotation until the time comes to defend it.


Special thanks to Stephanie McNally for this photo and the other unpublished ones.

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